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Posts Tagged ‘hipaa compliance’

Improve Access to Preventative Healthcare with Email

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Next up in our series on patient education and engagement, we look at ways to encourage preventative healthcare with digital technologies.

 

Vaccines and Flu Shot Information

It’s challenging to encourage individuals to get a yearly flu shot. There are many reasons that people do not get annual flu shots. Some of these reasons include:

  • not enough time
  • don’t think they need one
  • don’t know where or when to get one

Accordingly, one way to expand outreach efforts is with a series of personalized and educational emails. Using a patient database, it’s easy to identify the patients who are at the highest risk of suffering severe consequences from contracting the flu. Subsequently, the marketing team can put together a series of educational emails that address some of the common questions including:

  • why flu shots are important to public health
  • how to schedule a flu shot appointment
  • promotions to incentivize populations with lower vaccination rates

In addition, patient education can also help combat vaccine misinformation. The Covid-19 vaccine rollout represents a good example. The lack of compelling information from official sources led people to the Internet and social media to search for information about the vaccines. Despite local and national government efforts, the information void was filled by misinformation. Reaching out to patients before they encountered misinformation could have helped increase trust and increased vaccination rates.

Preventative Healthcare Screenings and Testings

Preventative healthcare screenings for cancer, blood pressure, and diabetes are recommended on a yearly basis. Identifying these conditions and treating them early on can drastically improve health outcomes. However, many people do not know when to get screened. Many tests do not apply until patients reach a certain age bracket or if they have certain risk factors. Email campaigns can target patients who meet the criteria for a preventative screening.

Next, let’s look at another example. Breast cancer screenings are recommended for women when they reach 40 years old. A healthcare marketer could create an email campaign to let eligible patients know how to schedule a mammogram. This campaign could provide educational information on why screenings are important, what patients can expect at their mammogram, and how to schedule an appointment. Promotional tactics can also encourage more signups. Early detection of cancer saves lives, and it’s incredibly important to conduct these screenings.

Appointment Scheduling

Furthermore, it is important that patients come in for annual appointments. These appointments are where many screening procedures occur. Skipping an annual appointment can mean missing the early symptoms of a serious health condition. Email campaigns can help close care gaps and encourage patients who have missed appointments to reschedule. Removing barriers to care and increasing the number of communication touch points can improve patient engagement.

The Power of Personalization in Preventative Healthcare

Finally, emails are even more powerful when they are personalized using ePHI. Marketers can use audience segmentation to break down patient populations into distinct groups and create relevant messaging. However, to segment and personalize email marketing messages with ePHI, the organization must use a HIPAA-compliant marketing solution. Read our other blogs for more information on selecting a HIPAA-compliant email marketing platform.

By targeting distinct patient groups, marketing teams can create highly relevant messages that increase patient engagement. Let’s take the earlier breast cancer screening campaign example. This campaign is particularly relevant to women in their 40s and 50s who may be unfamiliar with the screening process and how to schedule a mammogram. If this campaign was sent to an entire patient population, it would be confusing and annoying. Young women may mistakenly believe they needed to get screened, and men would be annoyed by the unnecessary email outreach.

Targeting the right population at the right time with the right message is key to marketing success. Using patient data in a safe way allows the marketing team to create highly personalized campaigns that help patients access preventative healthcare.

Conclusion

To conclude, educational email campaigns can encourage patients to access preventative care that they may not know is available. To achieve the best results, marketers can use segmentation and personalization to create highly targeted email campaigns to help patients achieve desired health outcomes. For more information on creating HIPAA-compliant email marketing campaigns, check out LuxSci’s Secure Marketing tool.

Email Encryption for HIPAA Compliance: SMTP TLS vs Portal Pick Up

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Email encryption is an addressable standard for HIPAA compliance, but that doesn’t mean it’s optional. When sending sensitive data via email, it should be protected with encryption. However, there are many ways to send a secure email message and HIPAA does not require the use of a specific method.

The two most common email encryption methods include SMTP TLS and Secure Portal Pick Up. This article will discuss the differences between them and provide guidance for what to use in a HIPAA compliance context.

email encryption for hipaa

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How to Engage Patients with Email Marketing

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with patients. However, health care providers have long avoided it because of HIPAA concerns. In this article, we will provide a few examples of how to use email marketing to engage patients and increase ROI.

engage patients

Don’t Forget About HIPAA!

A quick reminder- the following use cases assume that an organization is utilizing a HIPAA-compliant email marketing platform. Most major email marketing platforms (like Mailchimp and Constant Contact) cannot encrypt outgoing emails and are not HIPAA-compliant. Do not upload ePHI to a marketing platform without first signing a Business Associate Agreement and thoroughly vetting the vendor. Just because a vendor will sign a BAA, it does not mean including sensitive data in emails is permitted. Choosing a platform designed for HIPAA compliance (like LuxSci’s Secure Marketing) is highly recommended to help reduce risks.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into some examples of how ePHI can be utilized in email marketing campaigns to improve patient engagement.

Provider and Network Changes

Changing a healthcare provider can be a tedious task. Instead of relying on staff to call and mail notices to affected patients, use email marketing to engage patients. Suppose Dr. Smith is retiring, and a practice needs to inform his patients of the upcoming change. Using email is a highly effective way to do so. First, create a segment of Dr. Smith’s patients and send an email to them with directions on how to choose a new provider. Marketers could further segment this list by using the patient’s insurance and offering  suggestions of new providers who are in-network and are accepting new patients. By making it as easy as possible for Dr. Smith’s patients to continue care, it increases retention and keeps patients satisfied.

In a similar vein, when a new provider joins the practice, an organization can email all their current patients who are without a provider to encourage them to come in and seek care.

Events Marketing

Almost every health care system offers events that are specifically targeted to different patient populations. Some examples include parenting classes for new moms, nutrition classes for diabetics, and cancer support groups. When using a HIPAA-compliant email marketing program, an organization can use health care data to target these patient populations with personalized marketing messages to increase enrollment and engagement.

For example, let’s imagine that a healthcare organization is running a series of classes for new moms. To promote the classes, the marketing team can get a list of currently pregnant patients and send them emails about the upcoming series. Since these emails are highly relevant to this specific user group, it’s likely the campaign will perform well and increase enrollment. If this email was sent to the entire company email list, it may annoy patients who do not fall into this category, and many would unsubscribe. By only sending emails to relevant groups, it keeps patients interested rather than irritated by marketing messages.

Address Care Gaps

HIPAA-compliant email marketing can also be used to encourage vulnerable populations to seek follow up care. One campaign type  is screening reminders. Many screenings are recommended when certain age and demographic criteria are met. For example, mammograms are recommended when women reach their 40s. An organization could use email marketing to target patients who meet the demographic criteria with information about how to schedule their screening. It’s also possible to exclude women who have already had their mammogram. These highly targeted mailings can automate processes and improve patient health outcomes.

In addition, organizations can create campaigns in different languages to expand outreach efforts to marginalized patient populations. The possibilities for personalization are endless. Sending highly relevant and personalized email campaigns is a surefire way to engage patients.

Conduct Surveys and Gather Feedback

Using a HIPAA-compliant email marketing platform makes it easy to test messaging to increase response rates. Improving patient satisfaction is important to improve reimbursement rates from insurance companies and the federal government. Understanding areas to improve can help organizations deliver a better patient experience and increase profit.

Conclusion: Engage Patients with Email Marketing

These are just a few ways that health care systems can increase patient engagement with HIPAA-compliant email marketing. Healthcare organizations have access to troves of data that can be used to create highly relevant marketing campaigns. However, it’s extremely important to keep sensitive data protected. To successfully and securely engage patients without running afoul of HIPAA regulations, use a HIPAA-compliant email marketing platform.

HIPAA-Compliant Email Hosting or Outbound Email Encryption?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

There are many ways to protect ePHI in email. HIPAA is technology-neutral and doesn’t make specific recommendations for how to protect email communications. This article explains the difference between a HIPAA-compliant email host and an email encryption gateway. These are just two of the options for securing email accounts.

email encryption

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What is Managed Web Hosting?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

When setting up a new website, users must decide how it will be hosted. In this article, we discuss some of the options with a special focus on HIPAA compliance.

managed web hosting

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